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If there were any doubts that Melania Trump wasn’t exactly traditional “first lady material” or that her role would be supplanted by her step-daughter Ivanka, the incoming first lady attempted to put them to rest on Friday morning.
Her light blue ensemble on Inauguration Day, complete with gloves, immediately caught the internet’s attention with one resounding comparison: Jackie O. On Twitter and even on CNN, people called out the connection.
Melania giving me major Jackie O vibes right now— Rebecca Purcell (@repurcell) January 20, 2017
The blue ensemble is by Ralph Lauren, as many outlets predicted earlier this week. The choice of such a major American designer, one whose brand is one part rugged Western cowboy, one part preppy polo player, and totally quintessentially American, seems like a statement by both designer and the incoming first lady.
Trump herself has a history of embracing Ralph, with a black jumpsuit at a presidential debate and a white jumpsuit on election night. Both of those, however, she bought off the rack; an Inauguration Day outfit, with all the inevitable planning involved, implies that this time, Ralph Lauren the brand worked with her hand in hand.
But perhaps more importantly than the designer name, to the American people watching, the outfit choice unabashedly screams “first lady.” While Melania took a backseat to Ivanka on the campaign trail, with suggestions that the daughter, not the wife, might assume first lady roles, her blue outfit directly echoes Jacqueline Kenendy’s blue Oleg Cassini skirt suit from John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inauguration.
Her message is unmistakable: The first lady has arrived.